How to Remove a Red Wine Stain

No need to panic—just follow this easy 5-step process to remove red wine from a white tablecloth (or other washable fabric).

No need to panic if someone spills red wine on your crisp white shirt, tablecloth, or other washable fabric. In a few easy steps—see the video—the fabric can look as good as new.

What You Need

  1. Check clean white cotton cloth
  2. Check bowl
  3. Check table salt
  4. Check pot holder
  5. Check boiling water

Follow These Steps

  1. Blot, don’t rub.

    Dab at the stain with a damp, white cotton cloth to absorb any excess wine. (Rubbing is the wrong move because it will actually set the stain.)

  2. Pull the fabric taut.

    Slide a bowl under the fabric, centering the stain over the bowl. Secure with a large rubber band.

  3. Sprinkle salt.

    Coat the stain with a generous amount of salt and let sit for at least five minutes to allow the salt to start absorbing the liquid. Keep in mind: The sooner salt is applied, the easier it will be to lift the stain.

  4. Add boiling water.

    Slowly—and carefully—pour boiling water over the stain from a height of at least eight inches. (Pouring from this height gives you enough force to flush out the stain.)

  5. Machine-wash.

    Using the hottest water setting, launder the fabric.

    Tip: Don’t put the cloth in the dryer until the stain is completely removed. Otherwise, the dryer’s heat will cause the remaining stain to set.